NRA Fact Sheet -- 2/6/98

Gun Shows: Legitimate Firearms Sales, Regulated By Law

National Rifle Association of America -- Institute for Legislative Action -- Research & Information Division

11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA   22030 -- 703-267-1170 --

    A "gun show" is an event which federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) assemble under one roof to engage in business.   All sales of firearms at gun shows are subject to the identical federal and state laws that apply in other situations.  There are no exceptions whatsoever to this rule.  Among the laws governing firearms sales:

    Federal law prohibits an FFL from selling a handgun or handgun ammunition to anyone under age 21, and a rifle or shotgun or such ammunition to anyone under age 18. [18 USC 922(b)(1)].  A non-licensee is prohibited fromensee is prohibited from selling a handgun or handgun ammunition to anyone under age 18 [19 USC 922(x)].


    Federal law prohibits selling a handgun to a resident of another state and prohibits selling a rifle or shotgun to a non-resident if the sale would violate state law.  [18 USC 922(b)(3)].  Individuals are prohibited from buying a handgun out-of-state [18 USC 922(a)(3)].  FFLs may sell at gun shows in their state only [18 USC 923(j)].

    Federal law prohibits selling any firearm or ammunition to a person who is prohibited by law from possessing firearms, such as a felon, fugitive, etc. [18 USC 922(d)] and prohibits selling any firearm or ammunition known to be stolen [18 USC 922(j)].

    "Private dealers" do not sell firearms at gun shows, because there is no such thing as a "private dealer."  The term is an oxymoron, created by anti-firearm activists to mislead the public about legitimate, lawful sales of firearms at gun shows.

    Federal law [18 USC 921(a)(11), (a)(21)(C) and 923(a)] requires that all dealers be federally licensed.  Anyone "who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principle objective of livelihood and profit throught the repetitiveht the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms" must possess an FFL.

    FFLs must maintain records of sale on all firearms sold [18 USC 923(g)(1)(a)] and make those reocrds available to law enforcement authorities engaged in investigations and to ensure proper recordkeeping [18 USC 923(g)].

    FFLs must submit all handgun purchase applications to law enforcement authorities [18 USC 922(s)] and must report multiple sales of handguns [18 USC 923(g)(3)].

    Private individuals may sell firearms only on an "occasional" basis "for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby" or to sell their collections [18 USC 921(1)(21)(C)].

(Transcribed by Dave Markowitz)

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